Globe Trot A summary of international news compiled by senior editor Mindy Belz

Nielsen resignation adds to Cabinet vacancies

International | DHS secretary reportedly was blindsided by president’s threats to close the border
by Mindy Belz
Posted 4/08/19, 12:25 pm

UNITED STATES: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned during a meeting with President Donald Trump Sunday—leaving top Cabinet positions covering national security vacant. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned in December and the post remains unfilled, while the Department of Interior also is without a secretary. Nielsen, along with now-departed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, oversaw creation of the administration’s “zero-tolerance” policy that resulted in mass numbers of children separated from parents at the border. She reportedly was blindsided in recent weeks by White House plans to close ports of entry with Mexico and stop accepting asylum-seekers.

  • In a court filing late Friday, the Justice Department said it will need at least one and perhaps two years to analyze the roughly 47,000 cases of unaccompanied minors taken into federal custody in order to locate perhaps thousands still missing under the zero-tolerance policy.
  • On Sunday night, President Trump tweeted, “Mexico must apprehend all illegals and not let them make the long march up to the United States, or we will have no other choice than to Close the Border and/or institute Tariffs. Our Country is FULL!”

ISRAEL: Ahead of Tuesday’s election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told an Israeli news channel he will annex the West Bank if reelected. Experts have warned such a move will create “permanent instability,” and former diplomat Dennis Ross said it would mean “Israel will no longer be able to separate from Palestinians. One state for two peoples will result.”

LIBYA: U.S. forces operating inside Libya have pulled out as fighting escalates between UN-backed government forces and the self-described National Libyan Army of Gen. Khalifa Hifter, a U.S. citizen.

RWANDA: Twenty-five years after a genocide that killed 800,000 Tutsis, mass graves continue to be discovered—and remains of more than 62,000 victims are slated for burial this year.

MALAYSIA: An official yearlong inquiry into the disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh and others concluded he was abducted by state police. Koh was kidnapped in broad daylight in 2017 and has not been heard from since. His wife said she planned legal action unless a criminal investigation is launched.

SYRIA: A view of things to come in a post-war, Russia-controlled Syria, as Russian military police arrest dozens of workers at a Russian-run fertilizer factory near Homs over wage and hour grievances. Probably they shouldn’t have asked to be paid in U.S. dollars.

Five years after he was shot to death in Homs, remembering long-time resident and Dutch priest Frans Van der Lugt, who refused UN evacuation because he said it was his duty to stay with his flock.

GLOBAL: A deadly fungus known as Candida auris has been spreading around the world without warnings from healthcare workers, despite it killing nearly half of patients who contract the germ.

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Mindy Belz

Mindy wrote WORLD Magazine's first cover story in 1986 and went on to serve as international editor, editor, and now senior editor. She has covered wars in Syria, Afganistan, Africa, and the Balkans, and she recounts some of her experiences in They Say We Are Infidels: On the Run from ISIS with Persecuted Christians in the Middle East. Mindy resides with her husband, Nat, in Asheville, N.C. Follow her on Twitter @mcbelz.

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